Abby Jimenez’s Part of Your World is the perfect blend of fun rom-com, depth, and humor that make for a memorable read. The well developed characters, idyllic setting, and a plot that tackles heavy topics make this a summer must-read.
Alexis has grown up shouldering the weight of a lengthy family legacy that ultimately makes almost all of her choices for her. Daniel has a legacy of his own, but in quite a different way. Their worlds collide when Alexis, while driving through Daniel’s quaint town, swerves to avoid a raccoon and finds her car stuck in a ditch. An adorable and humorous meet-cute ensues, changing the course of both of their lives.
Abby Jimenez makes me laugh out loud in every book she writes. I even texted my sister while I was mid-read, demanding she read Part of Your World simply because Alexis and Briana’s bantering reminded me of us. Being funny verbally is a difficult task, but being funny in writing is its own gauntlet. Yet Jimenez executes this flawlessly; take care reading in public, because it is laugh out loud funny, and often sweeps in unexpectedly and you find yourself laughing loudly in public (but that might just be me).
Jimenez’s novels are relatable and memorable due, in part, to her fantastic characters. From the main players to those that only grace a couple of pages, every single character is well developed. The world and characters are so astutely established that I found myself wondering if these characters and world had been featured in a previous title I had somehow missed. Though one character is related to a character from another novel in Jimenez’s catalogue, no prior reading is necessary to understand the elements at work in Part of Your World.
When I first saw the title, I immediately thought of The Little Mermaid and its oh-so-popular song (that is still my go to shower karaoke number, true story). Though Jimenez’s novel is in no way a mermaid tale, there are many Disney Easter eggs scattered throughout the book. You can find a full breakdown in the author’s note, found after the epilogue. As a full-fledged Disney nerd, I delighted in all the Disney-esque moments. If you aren’t a Disney fanatic, don’t worry– these moments do not detract from the plot, nor does the plot depend upon them. It’s just a fun bonus!
These pages aren’t totally without magic, though. A little sprinkling of magical realism is present, just enough to make the reader (and characters) wonder.
The setting is a character unto itself, and woe was me when I realized this was a fictional town and not a real one. It is so wonderfully described, it is easily imagined as a real location. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that the author had the town named by the Native Languages of the Americas naming fundraiser. Jimenez also notes that the town is located on traditional Dakota Sioux land. This respect and care cemented my status as an Abby Jimenez fan. As an enrolled citizen of a tribal nation, this is near to my heart and not something I see often; I highly appreciate the tender care with which it was addressed.
Jimenez is known for writing fun rom-coms with real world issues, such as infertility and grief, and Part of Your World continues this in an excellent way. From universal issues such as duty and legacy to much larger issues such as emotional and physical abuse, Jimenez continually handles difficult topics sensitively. I will include a content warning below the title image at the end of this post for those who would like further clarification. All emotionally difficult sections are handled delicately and with great care. The on-page descriptions so clearly identify manipulative behavior that it could help readers identify red flags in their own relationships.
Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez is available now. Thank you to the author, Forever/Grand Central Publishing, and NetGalley for an advanced ebook edition such that I could share my honest opinions.
You can purchase this title from Bookshop.org here or from Amazon here. Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and Amazon. I will earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase.
Content warning: the reader will see emotional abuse, manipulation, and gaslighting attempts from a secondary character, as well as another secondary character endure physical abuse. One character, as an ER doctor, discusses losing two minor patients. All instances on these topics are handled delicately, and these moments are integral to the plot. None of the abuse demonstrated is gratuitous.